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Relationship between geographical origin, seed size and genetic diversity in faba bean (Vicia faba L.) as revealed by SSR markers
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Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is an important legume species because of its high protein and starch content. Broad bean can be grown in different climatic conditions and is an ideal rotation crop because of the nitrogen fixing bacteria in its roots. In this work, 255 faba bean germplasm accessions were characterized using 32 SSR primers which yielded 302 polymorphic fragments. According to the results, faba bean individuals were divided into two main groups based on the neighbor-joining algorithm (r = 0.91) with some clustering based on geographical origin as well as seed size. Population structure was also determined and agreed with the dendrogram analysis in splitting the accessions into two subpopulations. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed high levels of within population genetic variation. Genetic similarity and geographical proximity were related with separation of European accessions from African and Asian ones. Interestingly, there was no significant difference between landrace (38%) and cultivar (40%) diversity indicating that genetic variability has not yet been lost due to breeding. A total of 44 genetically well-characterized faba bean individuals were selected for a core collection to be further examined for yield and nutritional traits.